Report: Atlantic Yards arena a money sucker
The Independent Budget Association disputed that the new Nets arena would make the city money. (Courtesy BarclaysCenter.com)
The Atlantic Yards arena isn't looking like such a slam-dunk for the city.
The new Nets stadium being built in downtown Brooklyn will cost the city nearly $40 million in tax revenue over a 30-year period, according to an Independent Budget Office analysis released Thursday.
The Barclays Center was promoted as a moneymaker, but construction delays and $726 million in government breaks for the controversial project has triggered the loss, the report found.
“(Atlantic Yards) is a financial disaster that destroys our community,” said Daniel Goldstein of Develop Don't Destroy Brooklyn, an opposition group to the project.
Furthermore, the city, state and MTA would have netted a total of $219 million in additional revenue if the developer, Bruce Ratner, didn't receive tax exemptions and a cut-rate deal on the land, the report found. The IBO also questioned whether Ratner would be able to keep the project afloat because of hefty debt payments.
The report did find that the arena's opening will create 1,000 new jobs, though most of them will be part-time.
A mayoral spokesman said the study failed to consider the economic benefit of the entire 22-acre project, which is slated to include 16 residential and office towers.
“Their assumptions are widely off mark,” a Ratner spokesman said.
Ratner has promised to build one of the mixed-use towers in the project's first phase, but the revised plan allows him to postpone the rest of the buildings or cancel them completely for a penalty.
The 18,000-seat arena is slated to open by the 2011-12 NBA season, with the rest of the $4.9 billion development finishing in a decade.
Still, a separate report released Thursday by the Kahr Real Estate Group called the deadline unrealistic, arguing it would take at least 20 years to finish the complex because of a tight credit market and lack of demand for space.